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Food loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry Americans Restrained by Police

Hundreds of poor people waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened.

Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.

The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”

“People got children out here that are hungry, thirsty,” local resident Robertstine Lambert told Fox54 in Augusta. “Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?”

SunTrust bank is trying to confuse the issue and not take direct responsibility for their actions. Their media relations officer Mike McCoy, stated, “We are working with store suppliers as well as law enforcement to dispose of the remaining contents of the store and secure the building.” Yet he also said that the food never belonged to SunTrust Bank.

There is no need to sugar coat what happened. Teresa Russell, chief deputy of the Marshal’s Office in Richmond County, said the owner of the building ordered that the food be taken to the landfill. Some people even followed the truck to the landfill and were still turned away.

In Richmond County, there are about 20 evictions per day, and the area surrounding the supermarket is one of the poorest in the state. According to the last available data, the poverty rate is 41 percent. Many people in that parking lot probably knew all too well how evictions work, and were in desperate need of the food assistance.

This story is not some bizarre exception. It reeks of the truth of capitalism and is strikingly similar to the H&M scandal that broke in 2010 when clothes were being shredded before being thrown away, so as to make sure the value of the merchandise was unaffected.

In a capitalist society, the motive behind the production of food is not to feed people, housing is not made to give them shelter, clothing is not made to keep them warm, and health care is not offered primarily to keep people healthy. All of these things, which are and should be viewed as basic rights, are nothing other than commodities—to be bought and sold—from which to make a profit. If a profit cannot be made, usually due to overproduction in relation to the market, the commodity is considered useless by the capitalist and destroyed.

In this case, it appears the bank simply did not care. For the banks that have made their profits through evictions and foreclosures, it is little surprise that they showed no remorse in leaving people staring in disbelief, with empty bags, as they watched the food that could be feeding their families dumped into a landfill instead.

by Anonymousreply 3104/20/2013

Sorry forgot the link...

by Anonymousreply 104/11/2013


Because people on public assistance don't get enough help to avoid hunger. Most run out of food near the end of the month.

Because many people who are not eligible for welfare and food stamps go hungry. As an example, people on social security usually do not qualify for food stamps or welfare. They go hungry. It take very little income to disqualify people for food assistance, so adults with part times jobs often don't get help with food.

Because food patries don't have funds to fill the needs of those who rely on them. Contributions are down because people with jobs don't have money to spare for charity donations, and the rich don't give a shit. If people are hungry they will work for less.

The USDA reports that in 2011 food insecurity affected 14.5 million with 38 million people. Food insecurity means that "[T]he food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food."

Food insecure households spent 24% more on food than other households.

Maybe these people were trying to stretch their food dollars so they could buy their children clothes. That's a reach. People who work at WalMart can't afford to shop there -- they buy at Salvation Army on the sale days. Forget anything for the kids like music lessons or a trip to the beach.

This in the richest country in history. Some system, eh?

by Anonymousreply 504/11/2013

They threw it out due to liability. It still sucks, though.

by Anonymousreply 804/11/2013

The bank managers should be taken into the yard and shot.

by Anonymousreply 904/11/2013

[quote]Ever notice that it's people on disability who rant the most about freeloaders, followed closely by people on Social Security?

Where I live, the loudest gripers are on military pensions. Usually they're double-dippers who get the military pension along with a pension from the defense contractor they worked for after they retired from the military.

by Anonymousreply 1004/11/2013

R8k, if that's true than it's really the dumbass church's fault for showing up late. Whoever was overseeing that at the church, should be fired.

by Anonymousreply 1104/11/2013

It probably was the liability issue. The point remains. Something is not working right if hundreds of people feel the need to go try to get free food out of a parking lot. You don't bother doing that if you can stay within budget at the grocery store.

by Anonymousreply 1204/11/2013

I really resent being referred to as a dumpster, OP. It's very hurtful. And I thought the people being restrained were paparazzi.

by Anonymousreply 1304/11/2013

It was not a liability issue. They could have allowed the poor to take everything in bottles, boxes, jars and cans as well as the produce.

by Anonymousreply 1404/11/2013

r14 as a matter of law, it is a liability issue. Companies don't want to take the risk. If they give away the food, they will be liable for the resulting food poisoning or whatever.

Let's say one person takes a box of Cheerios. Unbeknownst to the company or the taker, the cheerios has mold. Taker eats it and becomes ill. Who do you think he'll sue? The company that willfully and intentionally gave it to him.

by Anonymousreply 1504/11/2013

Yeah, the bank isn't in the food business, so they should not be tasked with figuring out what food is good to hand out and what isn't.

But, at minimum, they should have had an outside contractor do this for them. They relied on a local church that dropped the ball. The bank is guilty of not contracting a reputable non-profit company to donate the food to......and let them be the ones to disburse it.

by Anonymousreply 1604/11/2013

The hell it isn't, r14.

Some putz, looking for an easy payout, would have claimed the food made him violently sick and then sued the city.

by Anonymousreply 1704/11/2013

I agree R17.

by Anonymousreply 1804/11/2013

Sadly, it is a liability issue. Food is a complicated issue. It is not easy to give away food because there could be so many opportunities for problems like sickness, allergies, etc.

What kind of Church is this? They are really to blame.

by Anonymousreply 1904/11/2013

If the people had gotten the food, what would they have done after they had eaten it all? They would be in exactly the same position. The relatively small amount of time it would have lasted makes its loss not material.

by Anonymousreply 2004/11/2013

And it still would have been worth it to SunTrust R20. You have to remember that SunTrust is Coca-Cola's bank, and that Coca-Cola is run by principles of fraud.

by Anonymousreply 2104/11/2013

"In a capitalist society, the motive behind the production of food is not to feed people, housing is not made to give them shelter, clothing is not made to keep them warm, and health care is not offered primarily to keep people healthy. All of these things, which are and should be viewed as basic rights..."

Are all these things basic rights? I am a liberal but am not sure.

Very sorry to see that picture of the crowd though, look like they have had hard lives.

by Anonymousreply 2204/11/2013

Why does it have to be "Hungry Americans"? Because it sounds so much more dramatic and politicized than "hungry people"?

by Anonymousreply 2304/11/2013

How hard is it to make a giant sign that says: "Consume at your own risk. By taking this food you agreeing to release Suntrust Bank from any liability." They could have even made a form and made each person sign it before taking any food.

by Anonymousreply 2404/12/2013

This is so depressing. I see such wealth around me and such poverty around me. And those with more money than they know what to do with would rather donate it to a museum or a college library, making themselves think they're such philanthropists. People all around us are starving and sick with worry over money and the richest among us just ignore it.

by Anonymousreply 2504/12/2013

My sister-in-law's family picks up items from Target every Wednesday and only ends up using a small portion of it for their families in need. If the food isn't nutritious, it would go in the trash. Target gives them all sorts of items in addition to food, such as gas grills, boxes of tissue, pet food etc. Since the church only takes the food, the other items are at the disposal of the volunteers. They do take some of the discarded bread to some of the poorer neighborhoods but most of the stuff just ends up in their garage. My brother has a beautiful new Brinkman grill thanks to the church. Sis in law's family has gotten numerous bags of high end dog food. Target should be partnering with different organizations (such as local animal rescue groups) and the church should either figure out a way to make money off the non-food items or get another volunteer group to get involved. It's disgusting.

by Anonymousreply 2604/12/2013

I love it when the knee-jerk reaction of the corporate ass-kissing toadies on datalounge for corporate misbehavior is to claim "They were afraid of a frivolous lawsuit." Sorry, gang, that won't fly.

by Anonymousreply 2704/12/2013

David Tepper, the head of Appaloosa Management, took home $2.2 billion, largely by betting on a rise in the price of major stocks such as Citigroup, Apple and US Airways.

To put Tepper’s payout in context, on the basis of a forty-hour work week, he made nearly $3,000 every 10 seconds, more than what a newly-hired US auto worker, slaving away on an assembly line, makes in a month. And while the auto worker contributes to the production of vehicles that are essential to the functioning of society, Mr. Tepper and his ilk produce absolutely nothing of real value.

by Anonymousreply 2804/20/2013

Your naive as hell, r27.

People have sued restaurants because they spilled coffee on themselves..... and MY GOD, would you believe it was hot?

Some retard sued because he hurt himself while cutting his hedges with the lawnmower.

People have also lied about all sorts of things in order to try to get easy money...

finger in Wendy's chili

syringe in a Pepsi can

Quite easy to say.... rat turds were at the bottom of the box of cereal I fed my kids, so the city of Augusta owes me 3 million.

by Anonymousreply 2904/20/2013

So, r28?

You're free to gamble on stocks any damn time you please.

Go for it!

by Anonymousreply 3004/20/2013

Keep voting for the Republican oligarchs.

Keep believing that the problem is the black welfare mother.

by Anonymousreply 3104/20/2013
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